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UK and US must ‘stop backsliding’ on support for Israel, Suella Braverman claims

The UK and USA must stop “backsliding” in their support for Israel, former home secretary Suella Braverman has said.

The senior Conservative MP made the comment after touring sites in Israel attacked by militant group Hamas on October 7 last year.

Photographs accompanying an article in the Telegraph newspaper about the visit appear to show Ms Braverman as she sheds tears at the site of the Supernova music festival targeted by Hamas.

During the visit, Ms Braverman criticised the UK for helping to pass a UN Security Council resolution on the conflict in Gaza.

The agreement presses for a ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and it is the first time the international body has called for a halt to the fighting.

But it did not link the demand for the release of Hamas’ Israeli hostages to the ceasefire.

The US abstained from the vote.

“I am angry when I see the backsliding by countries like the US and UK. This is not a time for walking away,” Ms Braverman told the Telegraph.

She added: “This is a time for strengthening our support for Israel.”

The Tory former minister described Hamas as a “death cult” and insisted it needed to be “totally degraded”, as she warned “these evil forces of terrorism” could present themselves in the UK without action.

In an apparent broadside at Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron, Ms Braverman also reportedly claimed to have received assurances that Israel has not breached international law in its actions in Gaza.

Lord Cameron is currently facing pressure from across the political spectrum to publish legal advice he has received on the matter.

Export licences could not continue to be granted for UK arms heading to Israel if there is a risk weapons could be used in a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

Ms Braverman praised Lord Cameron for bringing experience to the role of Foreign Secretary, but expressed worries about a tendency within the Foreign Office to “attribute an equivalence between Israeli defensive measures and the terrorism of Hamas”.

She added: “What I am very concerned about is a Foreign Office establishment view taking hold of our foreign policy.

“And by that, I mean, an anti-Israel sentiment, a pro-Palestine approach to this conflict. And I think that that is very concerning.”

Meanwhile at home, Ms Braverman said she was “ashamed” by the rising levels of antisemitism.

As the former home secretary visited Israel, the UK continued airlift measures to deliver aid into conflict-stricken Gaza.

A total of 35 tonnes of aid has been parachuted into the Palestinian territory over the last week by the UK.

Israel-Hamas conflict
Handout photo issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) dated 01/04/2024 of humanitarian aid being air dropped over Gaza from an RAF A400M Atlas aircraft (MoD/PA)

Ministry of Defence photographs showed pallets buoyed by dark green parachutes as they dropped into Gaza from an RAF A400M Atlas transport aircraft.

Aid dropped into Gaza has included water, rice, cooking oil, flour, tinned goods and baby formula.

The UK and its allies continue to work on a new sea route to get aid into Gaza, amid international warnings that its civilians are on the verge of famine.

While the sea route and air drops are aimed at providing extra methods of helping Gazans, ministers have insisted land-based aid crossings from Israel into the Palestinian territory are the best way to get aid in.